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Democracy Now

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01:00:00

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PG

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Channel 24 (225 MHz)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
544

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

California 21, San Francisco 7, Us 5, Robin 4, Bruce 3, Koda 3, Brown Rice 2, Edward 2, Chad Minton 2, Beekman & Beekman 1, Yuba 1, Keisaburo Koda 1, Jason 1, Buddy Dejean 1, Nation 1, Erin Williams 1, Spa 1, Charlotte Fadipe 1, Yuta 1, The City 1,
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  LINKTV    Democracy Now    News/Business. Independent global news hour featuring news  
   headlines, in depth interviews and investigative reports....  

    February 19, 2013
    3:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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>> coming up on "california country," it's rice, rice, baby. meet a family perserving an heirloom grain and making fans across the state. >> this is the shitake mushroom inari, inside is a brown rice sushi rice. >> then, think farms are only found in the countryside? think again. >> i grew up in san francisco. i live in palo alto now. but i drove up here--i've never seen this before. >> and find out why it's time to make a "bee"-line to help some friends in need. all that and more, next. >> here in california, the rice industry annually contributes more than $1 billion to the state's economy. and farmers here produce about 2 million tons of it each year. and here in merced county, rice isn't just a crop. it's actually
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a lifelong tradition for one farming family who's proving the adage "what's old is indeed new again." but to see how truly successful the story of koda farms is today, you really have to first look at the past. the farm was started by keisaburo koda back in 1928. you see, he had moved to the united states and had always longed of having his own farm. but then after world war ii broke out his dreams were dashed when he and his family were ordered to an internment camp in colorado and his new farm was left to strangers. >> but for my grandfather, he had to entrust the farm with people that he really hardly knew. and so when he moved back to the west coast, most of the land hand been sold off. he had lost his farm and his mill. and so his 2 sons had to rebuild the farm. >> and his 2 sons, edward and william did just that. they restored the farm to its
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original glory and managed to make it even better than before by taking note of an unfulfilled market niche for sweet rice. and actually, they became the first commercial growers of it in california. they also began breeding and producing a variety called koko rose, which is a special medium-grain rice that is usually grown more for flavor than for yield, which is why a lot of farmers opted not to grow it. but today, the next generation of kodas are finding tremendous success with the heirloom variety as edward's children ross and robin continue their family's legacy in farming. >> the day-to-day management is done by myself and my sister robin. i'm more of the general manager. and she is more on the marketing and shipping side. >> i'm glad to be working with my brother because we make a pretty good team at least in my mind. and it's give and take, but we're very similar in that
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we're both work-aholics. >> koda farms is actually the oldest continuously family owned and operated rice farm and mill in california. and because it is a fully integrated farm, one where they harvest, mill, and package on site, they're also able to market their rice in the way they want, which is mainly through one-on-one interaction and education with customers like what robin gets to do every week at the alemany farmers market in san francisco. >> we like direct marketing because it gives us more control over how your product is being presented. >> does this come from japan? >> no. this is grown in california. we've been growing rice in california since the 1920s. we're extremely happy to see brown rice being used in innovative presentations.
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>> applications like they do at the m cafe in southern california. based on a purely macrobiotic diet, which is one where everything is eaten in balance, and eggs, dairy, sugar, and meat are eaten in moderation, the restaurant is packing them in faster than they can wrap together the hundreds of sushi rolls they prepare daily. up to 40% of their cuisine here is based strictly on koda farms rice. everything from sushi to rice bowls to rice pudding to even their famous big macro veggie burger. >> we're japanese. rice is a huge part of it. because that is our main food we consume every day. and we have researched a lot of different organic rice. and this koda farm rice is absolutely amazing. that's all we use. this is the only brand that i know that's organic and heirloom. and the taste is absolutely amazing. this is the
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shitake mushroom inari. inside is a brown rice sushi rice. and it's got the tofu pouch. here is the most popular item, which is our organic salmon cucumber roll. and we cook this salmon with the miso and marinate. and then we grill 'em. and then you pull it off. and then you wrap it around a cucumber. and there you are. >> everything at the m cafe is made from scratch with the highest quality, flavorful ingredients they can find. like the ones they get from koda farms. yuta says he couldn't have even dreamed of opening his cafe without ross and robin and their special family farm, which got its start decades earlier. and now it's up to the next generation of farmers and foodies alike to support this unique kernel of history. >> it's part of the tie to stay here and keep the family business going. and it's also the challenge of keeping the
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family business going. a lot of history behind it. and a lot of responsibility to keep it going. >> thank you, ross. >> brought to you by allied insurance, a member of the nationwide family of companies, which also includes nationwide insurance. on your side.
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>> like the show? you'll love "california country" the magazine, which delivers the best stories from throughout the golden state. visit californiacountry.org for more information. >> literally farm to table. literally it's like from the garden. it's from the dirt. i mean, they come straight from that place. when you make that connection with the farmer, with the growers, it makes for a different feeling when you're cooking. for me now, it tastes different.
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>> welcome back to "california country." the show that takes you on an all-expense paid trip to experience the best kept secrets of the golden state. [playing jazz music] >> does it look like we know what we're doing? >> san francisco is a world-renowned hotspot for great restaurants, food, and chefs. but now the city is gaining notoriety for something else. its community gardens like alemany farm, where hundreds of people get involved in growing
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things. but since this 4.5 acre farm is by interstate 280, even longtime residents unknowingly drive right past this farm by the freeway. >> you know, i've driven by this road hundreds of times. i've never even seen this farm or heard of this farm. but it's beautiful here. >> the alemany farm is located basically right in the middle of san francisco. it's on the southern side of the city right next to the 280. we're lucky in that the space is so large that we have a big buffer zone between the freeway and where we grow. this space was basically an illegal dump. and people from all over the city would drive down alemany boulevard, pull off, and dump their refrigerators, whatever it was they didn't want. and so people in the alemany housing community decided they didn't want a dump in their neighborhood. >> you'll find a festive atmosphere on this community-organized farm. run largely by volunteers, there's a
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variety of crops, like collard greens, rainbow shards, strawberries, even artichokes-- all of this growing right next to a public housing project. residents who volunteer get to pick and keep their own food. >> let me show you how to pick 'em. look how beautiful it is. you want to put it inside? >> yeah. >> good job. >> kids play an important role on this farm. 9-year-old christian and his 10-year-old buddy dejean were showing me the organic cabbages and greens they planted. >> these are called--i forgot what they're called. >> collard greens. >> yeah. [both giggling] and we have lettuce growing right here. [indistinct] almost done. it's like something you could come up here and do instead of being bored out there. >> erin williams has been involved in alemany farm for about 2 years. this is your land! >> this is my land. but it's everybody's land. and i just love the fact that we can have honey and beehives that we
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extract from. >> [indistinct] oh my gosh they're right behind us. >> they're right behind us. >> what is this we're looking at? >> so, these are boxes of the honey that we keep. and they actually have a layer of, kind of like-- >> like a tray? >> like a tray that collects the honey on top of the tray. >> growing and looking after so many crops takes an army of volunteers. and many of them have had little or no farming experience. but they often see once they get their hands in the soil, well, they're hooked. >> if you can't bring the people to the land, well, you gotta bring the land to the people. and that's what we're doing here. we've got this beautiful property. and we're taking advantage of it. >> jason marks, who graduated from a farming program at u.c.- santa cruz, has been one of the farm managers for several years. he says this project symbolizes urban farming in america. and it's a great way for people-- regardless of their income-- to grow organic, healthy food. >> this is urban farming. yeah, this is how we do it. and again,
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you know, we're growing about 3 tons of food--about 6,000 pounds of food--a year, which could sustain several dozen families. and again it's not like we're producing--we're proud of the amount of food that we produce. but mostly its about showing people how much they can grow in their own backyard. >> and i noticed one of my plants had mold this morning. we transplanted it just in time. >> it's a lot of work. and they way that we're able to do it is because we've got so many volunteers like you saw just planting the trees. this is really popular. every weekend we've got literally dozens of people who come out here and volunteer. and so, that's how we run this garden is through volunteer labor. >> yeah. yeah. i like this farm so much since all these fruits and vegetables growing here. >> you know, there's a victory gardens history in san francisco when people were growing-- i heard up to 40% of the city's food was grown within the city limits. and i feel like that's totally realistic. >> we're starting trails of new agriculture of new things.
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we have peach trees. >> my mother-in-law always says she wants green beans and things like that. i'm like, "don't go to the store! i'll bring you some." you know it's right in the garden. she loves the organic beans as opposed to her beans. so, you know, everybody's just getting healthy around here. we need this in our community. >> if you know what nature is, you can survive through nature. >> the u.s. department of agriculture says there are thousands of community farms and gardens throughout the country. >> being a small little market garden, it's not as if we're growing a ton of food. but we are showing people in urban places like san francisco how they can be their own food producers. >> this was just like perfect for me. so, it was just a garden. we can grow it ourselves. and we can eat it. and it's fresh. it's organic. so, absolutely, this really has been, you know, it's been wonderful. >> in san francisco, charlotte fadipe for "california country tv."
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>> this segment is brought to you by the california farm bureau federation. from farm to feast, stay tuned for more of the tempting tastes of california. >> literally farm to table.
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literally it's like from the garden. it's from the dirt. i mean, they come straight from that place. when you make that connection with the farmer, with the growers, it makes for a different feeling when you're cooking. for me now, it tastes different. >> from tropical seascapes to
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majestic mountain woods, welcome back to "california country." >> nestled in the quiet countryside of the central valley town of hughson, there is a buzz of activity going on. you see, this is headquarters for a 70-year-old family business-- beekman & beekman bees and honey. >> well, i was raised in a beekeeping family. my father came to california in 1929. and he started keeping bees in the early 30s. and so i was raised around them and grew up with them. >> today bruce farms several crops, including nuts and lavender along with running his main business, beekman apiaries. he has thousands of beehives all over california from yuba county to orange county. and if that
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didn't keep him busy enough, keeping up with the byproduct of all those bees is his main task these days--making and bottling honey. bruce and his wife anne, make, sell, market a ariety of honey at their farm. basically anything that has to do with bees and honey can be found here. >> near the lavender and working in the lavender field, they always seem to be mellow and happy. >> and did you know that california actually leads the nation in honey production? we produce about 20 million pounds of it each year. but honey bees aren't only good at producing honey, they're also good at pollinating. in fact, 1/3 of our diet is reliant on the work they do each and every day. >> all through history and ancient times, the bees have been admired for their ability to work and pay attention to the job at hand and get the job done. >> working just as hard as all of those bees is bruce's nephew
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brian beekman, who is headquartered in some of the richest and most productive farmland in the country, along california's famous blossom trail in the san joaquin valley. here, bees are hard at work turning blossoms into the fruits and nuts we enjoy each day. and besides an occasional bee sting, beekeeping in this neck of the woods is fairly steady, stable, and profitable, which was all true until a couple of years ago when something mysterious started happening. >> and what's happening is the bees are so sick and unhealthy that they fly out of the hive to get food, that's their genetic trait. and they're so sick and weak that they don't make it back to the hive. >> in a normal year, keepers may lose some bees. but beginning in the fall of 2006, entire hives just started disappearing with no obvious explanation. perplexed,
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scientists came up with the name "colony collapse disorder" or ccd. >> colony collapse disorder is a name that they gave a phenomenon where basically all the adult bees perhaps except for the youngest ones and the queen fly away from the hive and just disappear somewhere. >> this isn't the first time something like this has happened. similar occurrences have been reported before, dating as far back as the 1800s. but unfortunately, we are no closer to finding a cure to the problem, which is why scientists like mussen and others at u.c.-davis are hard at work trying to help one of nature's hardest workers. >> we haven't used any smoke and they're not even responding. so, they're pretty mellow, pretty mellow today. >> concern for the honeybee is so widespread that even haagen-dazs, the country's premium ice cream company is doing their part to help. their "help the honeybees" campaign is educating ice cream lovers of all ages about the importance of
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our favorite little insect. >> yeah. i'd have to say that we were all a little bit surprised when haagen-dazs got a hold of us and they said, "you know what? we've kind of taken a look at our business. and it appears as though 40% of our flavors deal with fruits pollinated by bees. and if you're talking about ice cream, we're not going to have the cream. we're not going to have the dairy products if the cattle don't have something to feed on, if they cows can't find hay. and clover and alfalfa are a big part of that but we know that clover seed and alfalfa seed come from bee pollination. so, if all the bees were lost, we might be out of our basic ingredients." >> funds from the haagen-dazs efforts go directly back to u.c.-davis. but enuraged to do more, they contacted beekeepers across the country like randy oliver of grass valley to get the word out about what was happening and how people could help. >> every place i go people ask me, "hey, how are your bees
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doing, randy?" and that's really nice to see that they really care about that. people have a concern for honeybees now. i'm glad to see it. unfortunately it took colony collapse disorder to get us up on the radar, but it's nice to see that beekeepers are being acknowledged as a critical aspect of agriculture. >> now with beekeepers, farmers, ranchers, scientists, and even ice cream makers across the state all working hard on this special honey-do list, honeybees are getting some much needed help to produce sweet treats as they help fill up our plates with food. and now people like me who once were afraid of seeing bees are now more afraid of not seeing them. for "california country," i'm tracy sellers. >> hi. this is chad minton chef of the jer-ne restaurant here at the beautiful ritz-carlton marina del ray hotel and spa. today, we're going to make a fantastic
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marinade or glaze for grilled meats. works beautifully in salads. we're going to make balsamic fig honey. now, what we're using today is liquid honey. and commercially, there's 3 different varieties of honey available. there is liquid honey, which is what we're using today, which is the most popular. it's also pasteurized. we have crystallized honey, which is unpasteurized honey. and that's kind of the chrystally, cloudy stuff. and you have to actually heat it to get it to look like this. and then you can also get honey still in the comb. and the honey comb is also edible. so, i just simply cut these beautiful figs in half. in they go. we're going to simmer for a half hour, then we'll strain it. and we've got a fantastic marinade. works beautifully on poultry, beef, and again, beautifully in salads. the only thing we want to do is make sure we don't get it too hot. because all of this sweet stuff in there, it's going to be prone to burn. so, we're
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just going to keep it under a low flame for 1/2 hour, let it simmer. and that's it. so, after a 1/2 hour, you can see all those skins on those beautiful black mission figs are broken down. we've reduced and concentrated the balsamic, making it a bit sweeter. and now all we're going to do is simply pass it to get the skins out. and we're ready to go to the grill. ok. now that we've got our beautiful fig-honey-balsamic made, we're going to put it to use. i've got a wonderful petaluma chicken here. this is a 1/2 chicken that we've seasoned with salt and pepper and just a little bit of oil. and what we're going to do is we're going to put it right on the grill. and as this baby grills, we're going to baste it with this fantastic fig glaze. and it's going to give such a sweet, earthy honey taste to
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this chicken. fantastic. this is also great on steaks. you can use it as a marinade. just a wonderful, wonderful condiment. ok. so now, as you can see, we've got this beautiful, beautiful caramelization of the fig balsamic honey. and you've got one dynamite, super simple grilled chicken, compliments of all of those bees' hard work. once again for "california country," this is chad minton urging you to use your creativity and keep cooking.
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>> like the show? you'll love "california country" the magazine, which delivers the best stories from throughout the golden state. visit californiacountry.org for more information. >> welcome back to "california country." >> this segment--birds and butterflies. how do we get our winged friends, beneficial insects into our garden. if you build it, they will come. think about all these beautiful flowers we've already got there. if you plant varieties that they'll enjoy, they favor more, you'll have more birds and butterflies. color being the most essential. people don't realize that even roses or rguerites--varieties as simple as those planted in your garden--will bring them to your backyard sanctuary. think of birds just like humans. provide it and they'll come. food being the most essential. a feeder like this will sit right on a railing. they're easy on a table
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in the backyard. and primary bird food like this will take care of all the birds' needs. maybe you're tight on space, you're in a condo, something like this will feed up to a month, easy. all the things you could possibly want. hummingbirds are really, really popular all over north america. and in california, you can attract them 6, 9, even 12 months out of the year near the coast. you've got endless options when it comes to bathing the birds in your backyard. this traditional birdbath is about 20 inches in diameter and will do the trick for most birds. perhaps you're looking for something more decorative? this beautiful piece will provide endless hours of entertainment for friends and family. even something more decorative yet. this beautiful piece can go on a railing, maybe on a table. it'll do the trick. birds truly complete the garden. and i'll tell you, with a little bit of flower, food, housing, nesting material, birdbath--they won't have a reason to leave. let's invite the birds to your next garden party.
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>> that concludes today's tour of the best of "california country." join us next time for more undiscovered treasures from the most fascinating state in the country.
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